Chiropractic preferred for disc problems
People going to chiropractors for spinal disc problems has been increasing and for good reason. More and more research has shown the effectiveness of chiropractic care for this type of problem.
Disc problems often cause debilitating pain, decreased mobility, and a reduced quality of life. Degenerative disc disease is one of the most common spinal problems that, similar to back pain, can extend into the hip and leg or arm and hand.
Disc problems can be caused by degeneration (thinning) of the joints between the bones that can alter the mechanics of the spine. This can lead to disc bulges that often press on spinal nerves. Traditionally, treatment for spinal disc problems included strong pain medication, muscle relaxers, and sometimes, surgery. Patients experiencing these symptoms can respond well to chiropractic care. Chiropractic care can benefit patients as a non-surgical option for treatment of their back and neck pain.
What else can it be?
Most spinal or disc problems experience specific sets of symptoms including neck and back pain, stiffness, arm or leg pain, and tenderness of the spine or spinal muscles. Most serious conditions are present at the onset of the condition or slowly over time. These symptoms can be signs of a dangerous and even life threatening problem. They include:
Back pain accompanied by fever
Loss of control of the bladder or bowel
Severe weakness leading to the inability to use the arms, legs, walk, etc.
Loss of sensation in both arms and/or both buttocks
The inability to defecate or urinate
These conditions often require immediate medical intervention but most spinal conditions can be helped and even corrected with chiropractic care.
What can a chiropractor do?
Using careful, precise adjustments, chiropractors can help relieve the pain and pressure as well as halt debilitating progression of certain spinal problems.
Specific spinal problems are typically diagnosed by a thorough examination and a complete patient history. During the examination, the doctor of chiropractic will examine the patient’s musculoskeletal and nervous systems by moving the patients through different positions using their legs, arms, and back while applying pressure to specific joints. If needed, the use of other diagnostic tools including x-rays and MRIs may be indicated.
The earlier the problem can be diagnosed and treatment can begin, the better. There are several different things that can be utilized in addition to adjustments to aid in treatment including heat, ice, electrical stimulation, and a home exercise program. Patients often benefit from movement, so the sooner they get back on their feet the better.
Adjustments by a chiropractor have proven to be effective and safe treatments for disc problems and the associated pain. In most cases, chiropractic care is sufficient and surgery or injections can be avoided.